Community Policing Data
Beginning July 1, 2021, Sheriff’s, Police Departments, and State Police Officers are required to report certain data pertaining to motor vehicle or investigatory stops. This is completed in an effort to reduce law enforcement officers from engaging in bias-based profiling. The Virginia Community Policing Act requires law enforcement agencies to collect demographic information during all traffic and investigatory stops. The data is then submitted to a statewide Community Policing Reporting Database that is maintained by the Virginia State Police. The statewide data is then analyzed to determine the prevalence of bias-based profiling.
The Office of the Sheriff is currently doing a manual collection and submission of this data, like many other agencies. The State of Virginia provided an excel spreadsheet to the agencies, which includes drop down selection boxes for the categories and an explanation document of how to complete the spreadsheet. Whenever a deputy has detained someone for a traffic or investigatory stop, the deputy adds demographic information into that spreadsheet for the individuals. These demographics include the date, location, reason for stop, race, ethnicity, age, gender, if they speak English, action being taken, specific violation and Virginia crime code, if the vehicle was searched, if any force was used, and the person’s residency status.
Once a month, the Crime Analyst at the Office of the Sheriff compiles all of the monthly data and reports it to Virginia State Police.